Conservation is not the concern of just a small niche of the American public. Protecting nature is strategic, economic, and even patriotic, making conservation everyone’s issue. As Tom Friedman put it at Conservation International’s November 2 Seattle dinner, “Green is the new red, white, and blue.” A crowd of over 600 gathered to hear Friedman speak and support CI’s work, and they clearly agreed: for the first time in the history of CI’s special events, a guest speaker received a standing ovation.
Friedman outlined his vision of the challenges and opportunities facing the Earth’s environment. He argued that certain characteristics distinguish the current environmental scene:
Given these factors, Friedman suggested that now is a crucial time for America to become a conservation leader on the world stage, adding, “This is not our parents’ environmental crisis.”
Peter Seligmann, CI’s President and CEO, echoed that sentiment, reminding the audience that an important part of the American dream is to leave a better world for each successive generation. If we don’t act now, he said, it will be our children’s crisis.
- The economic rise of China and India and their citizens’ aspiration for a middle-class lifestyle;
- The urgency of securing America’s energy independence in a post 9-11 world; and
- The need to develop green technologies and biofuels in an intelligent, conservation-minded fashion.
CI Board member Harrison Ford introduced two young Seattle citizens, Emily Anderson and Hector Rhodes. Against a stunning backdrop of images from their recent trip to Papua New Guinea, Emily and Hector closed the evening with an appealed to the audience to remember that children worldwide depend on each of us to make the right choices today, so that future generations can enjoy the beauty and bounty of nature.
Special thanks to our generous sponsors:
Patrice and Kevin Auld
Bartlett Dairy, Inc.
Ann and Bruce Blume
Michele and Steven Heller
Chris and Bernard A. Marden
Iris and James Marden
Network Services Company